Op-Led: I Love 181st Street

BY Led Black (@Led_Black)

When I was a kid growing up on 192nd Street and Wadsworth Avenue in the 80’s, 181st Street was the center of my universe. A trip to 181st could mean that we were going for the rare meal at McDonalds or better yet, to the now defunct Astral Theatre to see a James Bond or a Cantinflas movie. What was remarkable about the Astral theatre is that the concession stand didn’t sell popcorn but excellent Cuban sandwiches and delectable Morir Soñando shakes. Directly across the street from the theatre was this incredible Cuban/Chinese restaurant that would serve Latino fare such as maduros, rice and black beans alongside Chinese cuisine. All the Chinese workers in that spot spoke excellent Spanish as they hailed from various locales across Latin America.

No offense to my Inwood folks but back then, in the 80’s and early 90’s, Dyckman Street was more a backwater then anything else. It has been only in the last few years that the center of gravity of this neighborhood has shifted northward to Dyckman Street. While all of us welcome the positive developments on Dyckman Street aka Inwood Boulevard, I think it is high time that 181st Street once again reclaim some of it’s lost glory. According to Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez, 300,000 people traverse 181st Street every weekend. Not to mention that 181st Street boasts such excellent establishments as Probus, Bangkok Heights, Cabrini Wines and Sushi Yu, just to name a few.

With that said, the Manhattan Times in close collaboration with the Washington Height’s BID executive director, Angelina Ramirez, has come up with a “I (heart) 181st Street” campaign. According to Pedro Suarez of the Manhattan Times, “the Manhattan Times will produce a special 4-page “wrap” around the newspaper on an almost monthly basis featuring various themes. Our first issue focuses on Valentine’s Day & Romance on 181 Street. Future issues may include topics like Banking & Finance, Women/Latinos in Business, Holiday Shopping, Arts & Culture, Health & Fitness and others to name a few. All these topics, however, will be 181st Street-centric.” So make sure you pick up this week’s copy of the Manhattan Times, which kicks off the I (heart) 181st Street Campaign.

For more info: http://manhattantimesnews.com/

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